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Louisville Visual Arts Association Gets $10,000 NEA Grant for Urban, Rural Youth Art Education

Louisville Visual Arts Association

The Louisville Visual Arts Association is one of 919 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive a 2014 National Endowment for the Art Works grant, the group announced this week.

LVAA’s $10,000 grant will support the organization’s Children’s Fine Arts Classes, a studio arts education program for urban and rural youth.

Instruction is covered by scholarship so that economic status will play no part in a child's participation or placement. Under guidance from teaching artists, students will receive instruction in painting, drawing, art history, art criticism and aesthetic conceptualization.

Jackie Pallesen, LVAA's director of education and outreach, said that offering these classes for children who may not otherwise be able to receive arts education is important for their development as individuals.

“This is a chance for students to gain mastery of a skill and to develop that talent and confidence, and I feel that that’s a very important thing in this day and age because for some students that might be the only place for them to really achieve or feel true success,” Pallesen said.

Shannon Westerman, the executive director of the Louisville Visual Art Association, said the CFAC program also prepares students for collegiate achievement.

“All 13 seniors last year—all of them, 100 percent—received scholarship,” Westerman said. “And the value of those scholarships was $1.5 million; it’s a testament to the quality of the instruction of our faculty, and we are very proud of that.”

With 82 classes at 31 sites in 11 counties (Bullitt, Franklin, Hardin, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Washington in Kentucky, and Harrison, Clark and Floyd in Indiana), CFAC serves nearly 1,000 students annually.

The NEA Works grant supports the creation of art, public engagement with art, and the enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts.